Romelu Lukaku


Chelsea are prepared to reject any loan offers for striker Romelu Lukaku as they seek a permanent departure for the Belgium international, a report has revealed.

The Blues have been looking to offload Lukaku since his bust-up with former manager Thomas Tuchel but, with no suitors prepared to offer a significant fee, have instead allowed the 31-year-old to spend the last two seasons out on loan with Inter and Roma.

When he joined Roma last year, it was agreed that Lukaku would be made available for £37m this summer as he enters the final two years of his contract, and BBC Sport state that Chelsea are prepared to stick to that asking price.

Chelsea did take the same stance last summer in the hope of sending Lukaku back to Inter but eventually had to agree to a loan late in the transfer window.

Suitors of Lukaku in Serie A are, however, struggling to meet Chelsea’s demands and are expected to wait and see whether the Blues once again soften their stance as the window progresses.

Saudi Arabia remains a real option for Lukaku. Chelsea accepted a bid from Al Hilal last summer but found the Belgian unwilling to make the move to the Middle East, although Lukaku has spent the last six months flirting with a move to the Saudi Pro League.

Romelu LukakuRomelu Lukaku

Lukaku scored 21 goals with Roma / Image Photo Agency/GettyImages

In a recent interview with VTM (via HLN), Lukaku explained his initial hesitance towards moving to Saudi Arabia and stressed his willingness to make the move in future.

“That was really intense at the time,” he relfected on last summer’s negotiations. “For two weeks. For two days in a row I thought: ‘Yes, I’m going’, ‘No, I’m not going’.

“Everyone only went to Saudi Arabia after I had the chance to sign there, I was scared for a moment.

“I have often spoken with Yannick [Carrasco] about life there. He lives in a compound there, but you really have everything there.

“Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be the end of me. The level there will only increase. To a much higher level than many people think. More and more football players will decide to play there. Also because of how the fans there experience football. The infrastructure still needs to be improved, but all major European top clubs know: ‘Saudi Arabia is coming’. You already see that in boxing, golf, Formula 1…

“A lot of people like to talk, maybe because I don’t have a real agent. But I’m going to decide. I am in control of my situation. I’m going to make a choice and once I explain it, everyone will agree with me.

“Look, every time I decided to stay or leave somewhere, certain factors – for example my relationship with the coach – turned out to be the right choice. It’s like having a relationship with a woman. If we don’t click anymore, why stay together?”

A report from Italy this week has also suggested Lukaku could be a target for Antonio Conte at new club Napoli, with the pair previously enjoying success when last working together at Inter.



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